Black Friday 2018 survival guide

Black Friday is a curious thing. It began as an excuse for stores to offer huge discounts after Thanksgiving to start the buildup to Christmas. Now it has taken on a life all of its own and is gradually becoming a worldwide phenomenon. That’s why we here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey have put together this quick Black Friday 2018 survival guide.

We want all our neighbors to enjoy the fruits of Black Friday and want everyone to get the most out of it. It’s a great time to buy computer components, tech, gadgets and anything else. Follow these tips to make sure you get the computer bargains you’re looking for and spot the very best deals.

Start preparing for Black Friday now

Even though it’s three weeks until Black Friday on November 23, now is the time to get started. Here are some essential things you need to do right now in order to be prepared.

Sign up for a new email account

Go to a free email provider and set up a new email account. It doesn’t matter which provider you use, just set up an email to use with some of the following tips. Having a separate email address means you’re not deluged with spam while you’re preparing for Black Friday.

Make a wish list of items

One thing retailers count on each Black Friday is our getting carried away and overspending. Buying stuff we don’t need or buying blindly thinking we have a deal when we don’t. Making a list of gifts you need for Christmas or things you want for yourself helps prevent that.

While it may seem a little over the top, I tend to create an Excel spreadsheet with my list. I have a column for the current price, another for the cheapest price over the year and the most expensive price. If the item comes in weight or volume I also have a column for that.

Cost up your items

Now you have your wish list, note down next to each item the current retail price and any discount prices displayed. Then use PriceRunner, or CamelCamelCamel for Amazon purchases to see price trends for each item. When you know the current price and previous discounted prices, you will be able to tell whether you’re getting a genuine deal or not.

Often retailers will make some items look like they have been significantly reduced when in fact they have been cheaper at other times of the year. Preparing your list in advance will stop you falling prey to these shady practices.

Sign up for newsletters and offer emails

Go to all of your favorite stores and sign up for their newsletters and offer emails. Use your new email account as the destination address and sign up for as many as you think you will need. Make sure to include all the stores that sell the items you’re looking for on Black Friday.

Start early

Once Black Friday arrives, it pays to start early. Get up an hour early before work and do the online part of your shopping. You will also have Monday to do online so don’t stress if you don’t have time. Get to the store as early as you can with a copy of your list on your phone or even on paper.

You have seen the news and likely read the horror stories of some stores on Black Friday. The earlier you start, the more likely you are to avoid them and get your items before they are sold out.

Check the item carefully before buying

Finally, when you’re buying, make sure the item is exactly the same as the one you added to your list. Check the weight, volume, number of items within and so on. Retailers and manufacturers can be sneaky and offer smaller products or products with fewer items in than usual.

While shady, it isn’t illegal as long as the correct number of items or weight is displayed on the packaging. That’s why I add a column to note the details of weight or number of items.

Black Friday is an ideal opportunity to get ahead for Christmas or indulge yourself while spending a little less. Follow our Black Friday survival guide to make sure you get the very best out of the day!